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Old 12-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by QCCowboy View Post
Yeah, the laws were reformed slightly after that article was written, but fees still apply. Here is one from end of 2012 beginning of 2013. Look at the bottom of the article. It outlines some of the fees with several gift cards....
Thanks QC. Good read.

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Old 12-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #12
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My thoughts on this one are:

Credit cards are the most secure way to go here.

If you need to buy something and the store takes travelers checks...they WILL take credit cards.

Likewise, they probably also take debit cards.

If it's just to cash out spending money, it's easier to find an ATM than someone to cash the checks.

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Old 12-08-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
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Our bank does not charge me a fee to use an out-of-state ATM that is part of the Cash+ or Sirus networks, and most WalMarts now have an ATM that is fee-free. Most of our purchases on the road a made with credit cards, but if we need additional cash, we can get it without paying any ATM fees.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #14
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I also used to carry traveler's checks. I'm so old that I did this before VISA and Mastercards were common, and you had to carry a card for each gas company!

I have received VISA "gift cards" as rebates for purchases. These are hard to use. They can usually only be used for merchandise, not for gas, groceries, or restaurant meals. One store was able to take one for a purchase, but it was denied for a later purchase, even though there was plenty of credit left.

I think multiple credit cards and/or debit cars are a better way to go. I agree with a previous response that it's good to have several in case one account is hacked. We travel for several months at a time so getting a new card would be a hassle.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WBrian View Post
I'd go with a PayPal acct. Then get their debit card. You can keep a minimum balance of whatever you want in it, and transfer money from your bank into it. There's a couple day lag when you transfer cash from the bank to the paypal acct. So set up a second paypal acct without a debit card using a different email address. Keep a higher balance in that, and you can "recharge" your paypal debit card anytime, instantly.
I opened a debit card at my bank just for when we did our Bucket List Vaca this year. Closed it when we came home. I also have a PayPal acct and funneled money into it for several months before we stated our trip. We made sure to use them as Credit Cards. We also had 200 in cash for emergencies.

Tips: I read somewhere to make photo copies of the front and back of your Credit Cards and Debit Cards and put in a safe place. Easier then having to get online or calling and get phones numbers to report lost/stolen cards.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #16
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Green Dot or Other Type of Pre-Loaded Card

Someone mentioned PayPal, but I despise their "delay" in transferring funds, and the fees they often charge.

You might be interested in a similar product called "Green Dot". It is a visa card that you pre-load with money using cash. You can load it at certain stores or over the phone.

You can withdraw cash from ATMs or run it as a credit card.

There are fees associated with it, but it has been a while since I have looked into them. Here is a link

That said, I would just carry a regular credit card or debit card. To me it is not worth the hassle of having to load money from one account to another and track it. Either way you still have to have a "regular" account to load it up be it paypal or green dot or whatever.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #17
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I use cash for most all small purchases. I get more cash with fee free ATM's. I have been to my old bank when their system was down and couldn't get cash from ATM, so I went into the bank to cash a check and was told no because their system was down and all they could do was take your deposit and when the system came back they would send you a receipt. Never had any issues with cash.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #18
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I haven't used traveler's checks, even traveling internationally, since 1997. I use my credit and debit card for everything. Just get yourself a prepaid debit card from, well, anywhere. Walmart, Paypal, Target, etc.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #19
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We use Credit Cards for just about everything from on the road expense, to food in the belly. Pay home utility bills and insurance in the same way. When the bill comes we pay it in full and repeat the entire process.

If you use the right card the benefits do accumulate with time.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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Looks like a lot of good suggestions have been provided. All options seem to have some pros & cons. As you can tell there's not an single answer that would be best for all. Review your options and then give it a try to see what does work best for you.

Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

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